Planning and being prepared for a cruise is important, but, inevitably you will miss a cruise. This can be disappointing and stressful for many reasons. First, you were ready and prepared for a vacation and are, instead, faced with an unhappy situation. Second, you are worried about the money you put into the cruise, and if you will get any or all of it back or be able to get a replacement cruise. Unfortunately, the policies on this vary, depending on the different cruise companies. Prior to booking a cruise, you should check their policy on missing a cruise and do your best to get to the departure port early.
Missing the Ship at the Initial Departure Port
If you miss a cruise at the first port of departure, you should talk to the people at the port to see if they have any information on what to do. Some cruises have offices at the ports from which they operate, and you will be able to handle the situation from there. Other ships do not have offices at the ports, and you will need you to call the home office in order to get the answers you need.
If you missed a day or part of a day cruise, there will likely be another cruise leaving a couple hours later or the next day. In this case, you may be able to simply wait for the next ship. Other cruise lines will offer a refund or a voucher for a later cruise, which can be some consolation for people. There are others, however, who will offer little or no refund or compensation for a missed cruise. If there has been an emergency, it is possible you could get more leniency, but contacting the cruise as soon as possible in the case of any kind of emergency will mean better results.
Missing a Ship at an Excursion Port
When on an excursion at a port in the middle of your cruise, it is important you try to make it back to the port early. It is your responsibility to get back by the scheduled time, and the ship will not likely take much responsibility for it. When the ship is about to leave, they will typically check who has or has not checked in and call the name of those who have not boarded. After a while, they will leave. It is your responsibility to get home or find a way to get to the next port. While on an excursion, you should always take your identification, some money and credit cards, a cell phone and a copy of the ship's itinerary with dates and times.
How to Avoid Missing a Cruise
The first thing to do is to choose a cruise which has a lenient policy on missing the ship. Second, arrive early on the first day as well as on every excursion to avoid missing the ship. Finally, have all the items necessary to be prepared if you do miss it.